Posted on January 6, 2016

Review: Swoon Ethel Tote Bag

Handbags/ Sewing

I hope to make all the Swoon Patterns I own this year.  A Girl can wish can’t she? If January turns out to be any inkling of the rest of the year I am doing might fine!  I decided to tackle  this by using Alicia’s (Swoon Pattern Creator) easiest to hardest ratings.  First Up Ethel:

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Pattern Description:  A roomy, sturdy and stylish open tote bag. With a teardrop shape, Ethel veers away from the usual boxy tote. It’s a “stuff it in and run out the door” kind of bag, designed to comfortably sling over your shoulder. There are a few slip pockets for the small things.

Product Description

SIZING / FINISHED MEASUREMENTS:

  • 9.5″ wide at top
  • 13″ wide at bottom
  • 5″ deep
  • 10″ tall

MATERIALS:

  • 2/3 yard 44” wide quilting weight exterior fabric
  • 3/4 yard 44” wide quilting weight lining fabric
  • 1 yard fusible (or sew-in) foam interfacing (Pellon Flex-Foam FF78F1)
  • 3 yards 20” wide fusible woven interfacing (Pellon Shapeflex SF101)
  • 1/4 yard fusible stabilizer (Pellon Peltex 71F)
  • Coordinating thread
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: 1/4 You should already be somewhat familiar with sewing patterns and common sewing terms.

Here’s my Ethel:

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Fabric: Tula Pink Foxfield and Waverly Polka Dots

Hardware: Upcycled from a Guess Bag and NingBags

Pattern Review: I really enjoyed this pattern and agree with Alicia’s recommendation of difficulty 1 out of 4.  The pieces are easy to cut out, no odd shapes no darts if you are unfamiliar.  Since I had purchased my pattern the pattern cover has changed and so had the supply list.  My pattern cover feathers this:

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The tote now lists Foam/headliner as the interfacing. I used Pellon Thermalon Plus which I prefer better.  Note this does make the bag heavier and more substantial.  This Tote is straigh forward and if this is your first time making a bag this is a perfect pattern. It will definitely look like a bag when your finished and you will be proud.  Think carefully when choosing fabrics as fabrics (to me) can make or break your bag.  Don’t be afraid to mix and match.  I felt the bag was a tad plain but also I am not a beginner bag maker so i added hardware.  Its not functional just pretty …to me.

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That’s the benefit of sewing you can customize any way you want.

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When adding your strap hardware be sure to stitch close to your rings so the fabric does not slide.

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Top Stitching not the best, that’s ok use a 1/4 foot with a guide, extend your stitch length to 3.5 slow and steady.

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Inside pockets are great and remember you can divide them however you want.  You are a handbag sewer…do what you want!

04-IMG_9987-001When you are ready to birth Ethel (the non foam version) besure to LOCKSTITCH your seams as to no rip your opening.

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ETHEL BLOG

 

1-IMG_0279-001Tada you are all done!    If you decide to make Ethel let me know your experience.  This tote is available in my Etsy shop: Here

Toodles!

Emonie

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